The Suns are good. They have the best record in the Western Conference and have now won 9 straight. A win in Phoenix with the current cast of Clipper characters would have been too much to ask.
Still, the Clippers came out strong behind 18 first half points from Sam Cassell and led at halftime. But a 9-0 run early in the second half set the scoreboard to right, and the Clippers trailed by at least 8 the rest of the game.
I didn't see this game, and can't do much other than parse the box score and the play by play. Here are a few observations - feel free to flesh this game out for me if you get the chance.
- Despite a super strong scoring game (he finished with 26 on 9 for 16 shooting), Cassell sat and watched Dan Dickau for the last 15 minutes of the game. Now, maybe he was tired. Or maybe MDSr decided the game never got close enough (8 points was the closest) to use him. But it seemed strange. Did I miss something? Did he tweak an ankle? Did Ralph and Mike find it strange also?
- Kaman's final numbers were very close to his season averages (17 points, 14 rebounds), and 4 blocked shots and 2 turnovers are solid. But 6 for 18 shooting and 5 for 10 from the line are not good. The Clippers needed his best game, and they didn't get it.
- Cat Mobley 1 for 5. Who was guarding him? I was hoping that this would be a matchup the Clippers could go to in this game, but it did not happen.
- Outrebounded 52-41 versus the Suns is just not acceptable. I feel like a broken record, but 2 rebounds in 34 minutes from Tim Thomas, the starting power forward, is just awful.
- Ruben Patterson appears to have had his best game as a Clipper, with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
- When the Suns are making threes, they're almost impossible to beat. The shame is, they were ice cold from the arc in this game (4 for 17). Unfortunately, the Clippers did not have the horses to take advantage of a sub-par shooting performance from the Suns.